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Dolphinaris Arizona: We take the land experience and see dolphins!

Our family recently visited Dolphinaris Arizona for the first time. We had the opportunity to do the Dolphin Land Experience where you get to interact with a dolphin while standing poolside.

It’s an incredibly relaxed experience and our family had an absolute blast! Our two children (ages 2 and 5) both enjoyed it and were able to touch and interact with the dolphins.

Our day began at 10 am when we arrived and were introduced to our dolphin trainer (I don’t remember her name, unfortunately). She gave us the quick “do’s and don’ts” of dolphin interaction and answered all of our questions about dolphins.

The water was fairly warm! If you’re thinking about taking the swimming with dolphins experience, don’t worry about the water being too cold!

The Land Experience is a standing experience where you can stand next to the pool (it’s the perfect height for adults, and there are benches for kids).

Our instructor taught us a bunch of hand signals to do with our dolphin, and this was the most fun of anything we did. Our dolphin was extremely responsive, gentle, and friendly. Both of our children loved the experience and were brave enough to touch the dolphin.

During the entire visit, our instructor told us about the dolphin’s body (ears, eyes, skin, teeth, etc.) as well as the water tank and conditions.

A few of the interesting things we learned during our visit:

  • Dolphins shed their skin every two hours — a fact that is incredible and also hard to believe
  • The types of dolphins at Dolphinaris Arizona are Atlantic Dolphins however they were from Hawaii
  • Atlantic Dolphins prefer warm water and so the water temperature is regulated around 70 degrees (but apparently the Dolphins are fine in fluctuating water temperatures)
  • Dolphinaris has about a dozen dolphins in Arizona
  • Dolphinaris operates 5 similar dolphin parks in Mexico (so they have a lot of experience with dolphins)
  • While Dolphinaris is in the same complex as OdySea Aquarium they are separately owned (separate entrance fees)
  • Dolphinaris has a beautiful patio that overlooks the dolphin habitat and they serve food, beer and cold brew coffee
  • There is a Modern Grove Views restaurant with patio views of the dolphin center
  • Dolphinaris offers both land and water experiences. If you want to swim with the dolphins, you can do that tour
  • Photography is not allowed while you are doing the dolphin experience — an important note since they’re touchy about it (and they sell photos and video)

Unlike huge water parks like Sea World, the Dolphinaris center doesn’t have dolphins do lots of tricks and jumps or choreographed routines. But we did see a bunch of dolphins playing and jumping — so they do some of that.

Our family was given complimentary entry by Dolphinaris Arizona as part of their outreach to local media. If we had paid, the list price for 2 adults and 2 children is $216.55 and that includes a 5% discount they are offering at this time.

I should mention again that Dolphinaris has a beautiful patio with a cafe overlooking the water where you can watch dolphins. The cafe is called Docktails and they offer food, wine, beer, and cold brew coffee from Press Coffee. Interestingly enough, it’s free as long as you spend $15 or more. So, if you’re simply looking for an interesting date night or a place to take the kids on a weekend check out Docktails to get an idea of the experience.

You can book online to reserve an instructor and a time. We recommend doing this, to ensure you’ll get in right away.

Our daughters favorite thing about the visit was petting the dolphin. Another favorite experience was learning about the different hand signals that the dolphins respond to — and trying them out!

Options

Dolphin Land Experience — stay dry (this is what we did) and touch the dolphins from the side of the pool (15 minutes of interaction, total of 30 minutes for tour).

Dolphin Swim Experience — swim with the dolphins in waist-deep water (adults and children) (20 minutes of interaction, total program is 45 minutes).

Deluxe Dolphin Swim Experience — swim with a mask underwater (interaction time of 30 minutes, total program is 1 hour).

Dolphin Trainer Experience — Feed the dolphins and also the Dolphin Swim Experience (1 hour interaction, 3.5 hours of program length).

Extras

Beach Club — There’s a swimming pool where you can swim (separate from the dolphin pool and enjoy a drink or cocktail).

Modern Grove — Enjoy food or drinks on the deck overlooking the dolphin pool.

Gift Shop — Lots of cool unique gifts.

Professional photos — they take photos and video which you can purchase (similar to the ones shared in this post).

Private parties, corporate events — They have an expansive patio overlooking the pool, which has lots of room for a private party.

Getting there

Located on Via de Ventura in Scottsdale just east of the 101 freeway — you can’t miss it!

Dolphinaris Arizona
9500 E Via de Ventura
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
Phone: (480) 407-5154

We live in Scottsdale, AZ and have two children, ages 7 and 3. They are full of energy, and so we're always looking for new things to do! That's why we made this web site, to share them with you.